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General Practice 2023

12 STI symptoms in men (and what to do)

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12 STI symptoms in men (and what to do)
12 STI symptoms in men (and what to do)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), formerly known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), usually cause symptoms such as itching and discharge from the penis, the appearance of sores in the intimate area or burning sensation when urinating.

To identify this type of infection and prevent complications, it is important that men with an active sex life consult the urologist at least once a year, so that it is possible to carry out an evaluation of the reproductive system and, thus, possible diseases are handled quickly.

Because they are sexually transmitted infections, it is important that both the affected man and his partner or partner are also treated, so that the person does not catch the disease again. Also, to avoid these infections, it is important to have protected sex with condom use. Here's how to put on the male condom correctly.


STI symptoms in men

The main symptoms indicative of a sexually transmitted infection in men are:

1. Itching

Itching is very common in STIs such as genital herpes, proctitis or pubic pediculosis and is usually associated with infections.

Genital herpes is an infection located in the genital area that, in addition to itching, can also cause symptoms such as redness, pain or burning and blisters, which later become sores.

Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum and anus, which can be caused by infections, and pediculosis pubis, an infection caused by a parasite popularly known as "boring" and which, in addition to itching, can cause sores and discharge. Learn more about the annoying and main symptoms

2. Redness

Redness of the skin is a common symptom in infections such as genital herpes, HIV, cytomegalovirus infection, or pediculosis pubis.

HIV is a virus that destroys a person's immune system and, although at an early stage the person may not have symptoms, one of the symptoms caused by the infection is redness in skin lesions, which may be associated with other symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss, fever and sore throats.

Redness can also be a symptom of cytomegalovirus infection, which may present with other symptoms such as fever and yellow skin and eyes, however the development of the infection most often happens when the immune system is more weakened. Learn more about cytomegalovirus infection.

3. Pain

The pain caused by sexually transmitted infections depends on where the infection manifests itself. Genital herpes usually causes pain in the penis, gonorrhea and genital chlamydia infection causes pain in the testicles, and proctitis causes pain in the rectum.

Gonorrhea and chlamydial infection are infections caused by bacteria and have other symptoms such as discharge and pain or burning when urinating.

4. Bubbles

Blisters, or vesicles, can appear in infections such as genital herpes, molluscum contagiosum, HPV, lymphogranuloma venereum, or pediculosis pubis.

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral infection that causes pink or pearl-white blisters. On the other hand, lymphogranuloma venereum is characterized by being a bacterial infection that causes blisters that later develop into sores.

The blisters that appear in HPV are known as warts and are similar in shape to a small cauliflower. Find out about other symptoms of HPV in men and how to get it.

5. Sores in the genital organ

Sores on Organs genital organs are common in infections such as genital herpes, HPV, syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum, proctitis and pubic pediculosis, but can also be present in the mouth or throat if contact has been made of these regions with the secretions of the infected partner or partner.

Syphilis is an infection caused by a bacterium, which leads to the appearance of sores on the penis, scrotal region and groin, in some cases, and which can lead to the appearance of other symptoms such as tiredness, fever and sore sores. See more about what syphilis is and the main symptoms.

6. Discharge

The presence of discharge can also be indicative of STIs, especially infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, proctitis or trichomoniasis.

In the case of gonorrhea, the presence of a yellowish pus-like discharge may be noted and, if there has been oral or anal contact with the infected person, pain in the throat and inflammation in the anus may occur, for example.

Trichomoniasis is an STI caused by a protozoan, Trichomonas sp., which can cause, in addition to discharge, pain and burning when urinating and itching in the penis. Learn more about trichomoniasis.

7. Pain or burning when urinating

A painful or burning sensation when urinating is usually a symptom of a urinary tract infection, but can also be indicative of sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomoniasis.

This type of symptom can also be associated with genital herpes infection, but this usually happens when the blisters are close to the urethra. It is also common to experience pain or burning when defecating in the presence of a genital herpes infection if the blisters are close together in the anus.

8. Excessive tiredness

The symptoms of STIs are not always related to changes in the genital region, as is the case with HIV infection, hepatitis B and syphilis, in which one of the main symptoms is excessive tiredness with no apparent cause.

HIV is a disease that affects the immune system and, therefore, other diseases can arise once the immune protection is low. Hepatitis B, despite being acquired through unprotected sexual intercourse, has the main consequence of damage to the liver, increasing the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

9. Mouth sores

Mouth sores can arise if there is contact between the mouth and secretions from the infected region of the infected partner or partner. In addition to mouth sores, other symptoms such as sore throat, whitish plaques on the cheeks, gums and throat may appear.

10. Fever

Fever is a normal defense of the body and, therefore, is the main symptom associated with any type of infection, including sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus infection or syphilis.

Fever can be high, but in many cases, STIs cause a constant low-grade fever, which can be mistaken for a cold or flu, for example.

11. Jaundice

Jaundice is a symptom characterized by yellow skin and eyes, which occurs in STIs such as hepatitis B and cytomegalovirus infection. Understand what causes jaundice and how to treat it.

12. Sore tongues

The presence of sore throats, as well as fever, is another very common symptom that indicates the presence of some type of infection in the body, such as STIs, for example syphilis or HIV.

In syphilis, the spot where the bumps usually appear is the groin, however, HIV can cause lymph nodes to enlarge in many places in the body.

What to do in case of suspicion

When an STI is suspected, it is important that the urologist, infectious disease specialist or general practitioner is consulted, as this is how the diagnosis can be made, which is carried out from the analysis of the signs and symptoms presented by the person, in addition to physical examination, in which an observation of the male genital region is performed.

However, to confirm the diagnosis of STI and identify the infectious agent, some tests may be requested according to the doctor's suspicion, and a blood test may be indicated, such as the blood count, protein dosage C reactive and investigation of the infectious agent in the blood, such as the HIV virus, for example. In addition, serological tests may be requested, which are also performed with a blood sample, to verify the presence of antigens or antibodies, being useful in the diagnosis of diseases caused by viruses and bacteria.

In addition to blood tests, an analysis of penile discharge may also be requested, in which a sample of the discharge/secretion is collected, which is analyzed in the laboratory and helps to identify the infectious agent responsible by IST. In case of suspected infection by Trichomonas sp., for example, a urinalysis can also be useful, since this parasite can be identified in the urine.

Treatment for STI

Treatment for STIs may vary depending on the type of infection. In the case of infections caused by viruses, the use of antiviral drugs may be recommended to fight the infectious agent and thus relieve symptoms. In some cases, especially when the infection compromises the immune system, the use of antibiotics may also be indicated as a way to prevent secondary infections.

In the case of infections caused by bacteria, the treatment recommended by the doctor is with antibiotics, which may vary according to the bacteria related to the infection. In the case of pubic pediculosis, for example, the use of antiparasitic drugs in the form of ointments or creams may be indicated.

Furthermore, during treatment, it is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse, in addition to being extremely important to do the treatment according to the doctor's orientation, even if there are no more apparent symptoms.

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